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Forex - GBP/USD edges lower as jobs data, BOE minutes eyed

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Forexpros - The pound was steady against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, paring earlier losses, as markets awaited key U.K. data on the claimant count change and the minutes of the most recent Bank of England policy-setting meeting.

GBP/USD bounced off from 1.6402 during early European trade, the daily low; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6436, still down 0.11% on the day.

Cable was likely to find support at 1.6322, Tuesday's low and resistance at 1.6495, the high of June 1.

The U.K. Office for National Statistics was due to release data on the claimant count change for July later in the day.

The report could show that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the U.K. rose by 20,000 people last month, after rising by 24,500 in June.

The rate of unemployment was forecast to hold steady at 7.7% in July.

Markets were also awaiting the release of minutes from the BOE's July Monetary Policy Committee meeting, to assess the central bank's stance on interest rates and the need for further monetary easing as inflation remains significantly above the bank's target.

Forecasts are for seven policymakers to have voted to keep rates unchanged at a record low 0.5%, while two voted to raise rates.

Sterling came under pressure earlier after Tuesday's meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy failed to ease concerns over the euro zone's ongoing sovereign debt crisis.

The two leaders proposed a new council to improve the governance of the euro zone and planned to introduce a financial transaction tax in September.

But they fell short of increasing the region's bailout fund, which many feel is inadequate should the debt crisis spread to Italy, Spain or France.

They also rejected issuing euro bonds, saying that the bonds will not solve the single currency bloc's debt issues, disappointing investors who had been anticipating such an action.

Elsewhere, the pound was fractionally lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP adding 0.03% to hit 0.8757.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish official data on producer price inflation, as well as government data on crude oil stockpiles.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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